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Big data analytics: Understanding its capabilities and potential benefits for healthcare organizations

Lookup NU author(s): Dr YiChuan Wang



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


To date, health care industry has not fully grasped the potential benefits to be gained from big data analytics. While the constantly growing body of academic research on big data analytics is mostly technology oriented, a better understanding of the strategic implications of big data is urgently needed. To address this lack, this study examines the historical development, architectural design and component functionalities of big data analytics. From content analysis of 26 big data implementation cases in healthcare, we were able to identify five big data analytics capabilities: analytical capability for patterns of care, unstructured data analytical capability, decision support capability, predictive capability, and traceability. We also mapped the benefits driven by big data analytics in terms of information technology (IT) infrastructure, operational, organizational, managerial and strategic areas. In addition, we recommend five strategies for healthcare organizations that are considering to adopt big data analytics technologies. Our findings will help healthcare organizations understand the big data analytics capabilities and potential benefits and support them seeking to formulate more effective data-driven analytics strategies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang Y, Kung K, Byrd TA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Year: 2018

Volume: 126

Pages: 3-13

Print publication date: 01/01/2018

Online publication date: 26/02/2016

Acceptance date: 12/12/2015

Date deposited: 23/09/2016

ISSN (print): 0040-1625

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5509

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2015.12.019


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